Common Sense Wins in Houston

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Election night 2015 brought victories for religious freedom and common sense.

Last night we saw many encouraging signs from around the country that voters are concerned with issues ranging from religious freedom to the expansion of recreational drug use to the safety and privacy concerns of women and children.

Here are some of the highlights:

First, Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected a controversial city ordinance that would have allowed men suffering from gender confusion to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms around the city.

Halloween and The Reformation: Thoughts for Today

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Many Americans, especially children, eagerly await the arrival of Halloween this Saturday. I understand and respect that some of my readers choose not to participate in the tradition of the day. If that is you, I appreciate your convictions. However, I think equally devoted Christians can respond differently. My wife and I have opted to allow our sons to trick-or-treat over the years.

We do, though, impose one important caveat: We’ve chosen to stay away from any of the gore and horror of the holiday.

Why Kevin Palau is Conservative in His Theology and Liberal in His Fellowship

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Yesterday and today’s broadcast features an interview with Kevin Palau, president of the Luis Palau Association, and Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland from 2008 to 2012. As some of you may be aware, Sam was one of the first openly gay mayors in the United States.

Kevin and Sam’s unusual friendship began when the Palau organization went to city hall and said, “How can we help you address critical needs in the community that are going unaddressed right now?”

Sam and his administration were wary.

One of the Toughest Jobs in America

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Let’s imagine you’re looking for a job online and come across a posting that describes the position as follows:

WANTED: Gregarious, dynamic and charismatic leader; excellent teaching and speaking skills required; must be empathetic and a good listener; proficient in conflict resolution, capable of juggling numerous priorities and managing unrealistic expectations. Must be available seven days per week, 24 hours per day. Compensation is not commensurate with experience.

Are you ready to apply?

I can probably guess what you’re thinking – “I’m not crazy, Jim!

Five Ways You Can Help the Persecuted Church

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“Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” – James Madison

Have you heard about “Deflategate”? That’s the ongoing story involving NFL quarterback Tom Brady and whether he ordered air to be let out of footballs last season. Not long ago, it was the lead story on the evening news almost every night, and it’s still regularly covered in the news cycle.

The fact that the number of pounds of air per square inch in a football is so newsworthy is shameful in my opinion based on what the national media hasn’t considered worthy of airtime.

Three Practical Ways the Church Can Help Inner Cities

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The movie “Straight Outta Compton” has been at the top of the box office since its release two weeks ago. Our media discernment ministry, Plugged In, gave the film a half “plug” (out of five) for family friendliness in its review.

It’s no wonder. Life in Compton, California is anything but family-friendly. I should know – I lived in Compton for part of my childhood. When I was only 8 years old, I was in my bedroom when a murder took place just 10 feet from the window.

Does American Christianity Have a Future?

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On today’s program I ask Dr. Ed Stetzer, the executive director of LifeWay Research, a very straight-forward question: Is Christianity in America dying?

Based on some of the headlines in the media, you might believe that it’s on the brink of extinction.

Most of the news reports in recent months were based on a study by the Pew Research Center, which asserted that American Christianity is in decline. Not surprisingly, the secular media latched on to the story and offered dozens of interpretations and theories about Pew’s findings – most of them negative.

UPDATE: Focus on the Family Builds Houses for Families of the Egyptian Martyrs

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I wanted to give you an update on the houses Focus on the Family has been building for the families of the 20 Egyptian martyrs killed earlier this year by ISIS terrorists.

As you’ll remember, these men, all in their twenties, had been in Libya in search of work. They were attempting to provide for their impoverished families living in Egypt when they were taken hostage and beheaded because of their Christian faith. Immediately following the tragedy, Sami Yacoub, the regional director for Focus on the Family’s Middle East outreach based in Egypt, reached out to their grieving family members.

Authentic Christianity in Charleston

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When I first blogged about the horrific shooting at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, authorities were still piecing together what had happened. What we’ve learned since then makes the tragedy all the more awful.

The pastor and eight congregants killed on last Wednesday night were targeted because the suspected shooter, 21-year-old Dylan Roof, wanted to start a race war.

By all accounts, this young man was filled with hate. Friends say he talked of the “need for whites and blacks to be segregated,” and that “he wanted to hurt lots of people.” An online manifesto that authorities say appears to be written by Roof is laced with racism, including statements that blacks are inferior to whites.

We Ache for the Church and Faith Community of Charleston

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We grieve with our brothers and sisters in South Carolina today as they mourn the deaths of nine people – including their beloved pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney – at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Authorities believe the shooting was racially motivated. The suspect, now in custody, is a 21-year-old white male, Dylann Roof. Inexplicably, he was said to have sat in on the worship service for almost an hour prior to opening fire on those in attendance.